comments_image Comments

Family Makes Millions Taking in Federal Funds for Failed Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs

Written by Martha Kempner for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.
See all our coverage of Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education here.
This week RH Reality Check has been reporting on the Obama administration’s decision to add Heritage Keepers, an abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum, to its list of evidence-based programs.  As a number of my colleagues pointed out in an earlier article this decision seems to be based solely on unpublished research that has already been declared flawed.  And, as I pointed out in an article detailing the content of Heritage Keepers the program is more marriage promotion than sexuality education and was definitely one of the curricula that sexuality educators were eager to see disappear as the funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs dried up. Truth be told, though, many of us were also eager to see the creator of the programs, Heritage Community Services—an organization that went from tiny to wealthy almost exclusively on taxpayer’s money—disappear as well. Heritage Community Services was founded in 1995 by Anne Badgley as an adjunct organization to the Lowcountry Crisis Pregnancy Center which she had founded in 1986. Today, the two groups are separate non-profits but they continue to share the same office and some staff members. Like most crisis pregnancy centers,  Lowcountry exists to convince women facing an unplanned pregnancy not to choose abortion. The organization’s website explains:
"Because LPC does not profit from your decisions, we do not provide or refer for abortion, and we do not sell or refer for birth control.”
The organization also discusses the "emotional" problems that women can expect after an abortion:
“After having an abortion, women may develop the following symptoms of guilt, grief, anger, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and difficulty bonding with their partner or child.”
As well as the "spiritual" ones:
"While we all have different understandings of God, there is a spiritual aspect of abortion to be considered. You may have certain questions about doing the right thing, while wondering about your future, why you exist, and what the future may be for the baby growing inside of you. How do you view the world? If you have an abortion, how will you feel in the future when you do decide to have a baby? Did you know that God has a plan for every person’s life, including yours and your baby’s? These are important questions to think about. Remember, you are NEVER alone!”
Anne Badgley also has close ties with other crisis pregnancy centers and serves on the National CareNet Centers for Tomorrow Advisory Board. According to its website, CareNet is a “Christian ministry assisting and promoting the evangelistic, pro-life work of pregnancy centers in North America .”

Heritage Community Services was founded with the mission“to strengthen the character of America’s adolescents and our communities one individual, one family, and one institution at a time.”  The organization’s website explains that it is mostly concerned with the well-being of children

“It is about their parents having a healthy relationship. It is about the family structures they belong to. It is about the behaviors they will adopt that will enable them to first get an education, then get a job, then get married, and, then, start their own families. It is about healthy family formation and maintenance.”
The organization explains that it uses the Heritage MethodSM which it describes as:
"…a systemic approach that through the use of our programs is designed to saturate whole communities with effective resources to help young people develop good character, abstain from risky behaviors, and prepare for marriage and family life.”
Continue reading....